“She is easily one of the very best dinosaur hunters in the world”, said Evans.
One of most fascinating things about Wendiceratops is the pattern of ornamentation on its face.
A description of Wendiceratops appears in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.
A spectacular new horned dinosaur fossil has been excavated from its 79 million-year-old resting place in the Cretaceous rocks of Alberta, Canada and described today in a new paper in PLOS ONE by paleontologists David Evans and Michael Ryan.
MIAMI: A newly named dinosaur whose head frill was adorned with curly horns has joined the ranks of the legendary family that includes the Triceratops, paleontologists said Wednesday. A full-sized skeleton and exhibit of Wendiceratops is now on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Indeed, he and Ryan were so excited that they immediately jumped into a vehicle with Sloboda and drove more than two hours to the site where the fossil was found, she said. [See Photos of the New Species of Horned Dinosaurs from Alberta]. Each species has a distinctively shaped skull, as well as a unique pattern of horns and protrusions – called “ornaments” – that come out of it.
The researchers spent two summers jackhammering the side of the cliff to reach the fossils.
Bones colored in blue are what has been found from the Wendiceratops bone bed.
Unlike any other dinosaur, this creature’s skull is ringed with bone protrusions that curl inward toward the animal’s nose like gnarly crochet hooks.
The dinosaur also has a medium-sized horn over its nose. They said it represents the earliest documented tall nose horn in the herbivorous, beaked dinosaurs from the Ceratopsia Period.
Another possibility is that the horns allowed males to demonstrate their strength and fitness to the opposite sex, just as big-horned sheep butt heads to determine who will get to breed with the female.
Because the horns aren’t involved in hunting or flight, their shape isn’t limited by function, he said. Their neck frill and horns were probably used to communicate with and intimidate other dinosaurs. “We are in a golden age of dinosaur discovery here in Canada and we’re not plateauing yet”.
While Sloboda is credited with helping discover thousands of fossils, including many new species, over the past 30 years, this is the first one that’s been named after her. (She did.) “We’ve always known that we wanted to name a dinosaur after her, but we wanted it to be a really great dinosaur”.
The paleontologists dig at sites discovered the previous year – often by Sloboda, Evans says.
Wendy Sloboda, a professional photographer who lives in Warner, Alta., discovered the first fossils of the new species in southern Alberta in 2010.